Whether you’re a native Angeleno or you’re headed there for a day trip, you’ll likely see plenty of people around the city showing off their incredible ink. If you want to join the ranks of the adorned SoCal population, there are plenty of amazing artists and studios ready to give you the celebrity treatment.
Here are a few of the top-rated LA tattoo parlors to check out — and some tips for getting inked in the City of Angels!
1. The Warren
If you want to get tatted in a bright, beautiful, and open space, The Warren is it for you! This women-owned and operated tattoo parlor can handle anything from your tiny ankle jammer to large pieces. The vibe here is fantastic, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Where to go: 8776 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA
2. Shamrock Social Club
While this shop skews a little more expensive, you get what you pay for — like Instagram-famous artists and celebrity clientele. This is the spot for black and grey single needle linework.
Where to go: 9026 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA
3. Body Electric
Body Electric is a tattoo shop for the people, offering a variety of different artists tattooing in a range of styles. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a versatile experience, especially since they offer piercing as well as tattoo services.
Where to go: 7274 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA
4. Broken Art Tattoo
Broken Art tattoo might be the LA tattoo scene’s best-kept secret. Tucked away in a basement filled with vintage treasures, this is the spot for all of your neo-traditionalist dreams to come to life.
Where to go: 3227 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
5. Black Tower Tattoo
Black Tower offers a clean, professional, and personalized tattoo experience. But beyond that, their art is something to behold — from the classics to the modern takes on tattooing, they have it all.
Where to go: 4060 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Now, here are some of the best tips for getting inked in LA!
1. Stay Out of the Sun
This might be a hard one to pull off in SoCal — but you don’t have to stay completely shaded. Just make sure your tattoo is far out of the reach of the sun’s rays! Once it’s healed enough, you can start putting sunscreen on it to protect the art.
2. Stay Strapped With Aftercare
Aftercare is one of the most important parts of getting a tattoo. Covering up with Saniderm tends to be the easiest when traveling, but you can also tackle your healing process the classic way with an organic lotion and cling wrap.
3. Try to Stay Away From Drinking
Although this one might seem like no fun, alcohol can actually thin your blood enough that the artist might have a harder time tattooing you. Most pros recommend avoiding alcohol at least 24 hours before your appointment. Try eating clean before and after your ink — green smoothies and avocado toast shouldn’t be too hard to find in LA!
4. No Swimming
If you’re planning on hitting the beach, make sure you do it before your tattoo, not after. Your tattoo needs time to heal properly, which means chlorine and saltwater are both bad ideas. Even if you’re wearing Saniderm, swimming is probably a bad idea until at least two weeks after your tattoo.
5. Make an Appointment First
Although smaller-town shops might take walk-ins, the best spots in LA will likely require an appointment. Of course, it can never hurt to call and ask if you’re itching for some spontaneous ink, but it’s usually best practice to set up an appointment with an artist. That way, you know you’ll get seen.
Getting Tattooed in LA
Getting a tattoo in LA can be fun and exciting — you’re getting inked by the best of the West, after all! All you need to do is be prepared and pick a shop. Where are you heading for your California ink?